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6 psychological reasons why video games are addictive

Video games can suck you in and grab you like some other activities.

On the surface, playing video games is no more or less valuable than reading, watching movies, or similar hobbies. But unlike those activities, games have a tendency to encourage prolonged gaming sessions and even addictive behaviors in some people.

Why is this? We're going to explore six reasons why video games can be so addictive.

1. Feedback loops in video games

Every video game, from early arcade games to modern blockbusters, uses feedback loops to keep the player engaged. This is a fundamental part of video games because developers have a vested interest in making players want to play their games for as long as possible.

At first, feedback loops were as simple as displaying a high score after seeing a Game Over screen. Seeing that AAA beating your score by just a few thousand points was enough to make you drop another room in Donkey Kong and start over.

Nowadays, the most popular multiplayer games reward you with goodies as you go. The steal of unlocking a new weapon once you reach level 50, for example, is enough to keep you playing. And the more players do it, the bigger the player base the developer can boast of. More people playing means a longer lifespan for the game, which provides more opportunities for monetization (more on this later).

But it's not just these examples of macros:small feedback loops appear in every game. Overcoming a combo in a fighting game and seeing your opponent outmatched feels good. Leveling up in an RPG increases your stats a bit more. Unlocking new power-ups and finding secrets encourages you to search for more.

The food to go: If games didn't have feedback loops, they'd get boring fast. But since you're frequently presented with new reasons to keep playing, it's easy to keep going.

2. The multiplayer game never ends

While you can finish most single player adventures in a relatively short amount of time, many games include multiplayer elements. And unlike solo experiences, you can spend hundreds of hours in multiplayer modes and never really "complete" them.

In the past, this was limited to local (armchair) multiplayer modes. You can take on your friends in GoldenEye, or beat yourself up in Super Smash Bros., but the fun is over once your friends go home. But with every Internet-connected home gaming system today, there's always someone to play online multiplayer with.

This is obvious when you examine MMOs like World of Warcraft, which contain so much content that you might not see it all in your life. But it's also true for multiplayer games like Rainbow Six Siege 7 Essential Tips for Rainbow Six Siege Newcomers 7 Essential Tips for Rainbow Six Siege Newcomers Have you already started playing Rainbow Six Siege and feel totally lost? These seven tips will have you up to speed with veteran players in no time. Read more, Rocket League and Fortnite.

Hop online, and you'll always find someone who's better than you, or another item to unlock, that keeps you playing. And in games with competitive modes like Overwatch, if you don't keep playing, you won't get better.

The food to go: Multiplayer modes never really end. With online gaming bringing you someone to play with at any time, there is always an urge to get better and play. “Just one more match.”

3. DLC means games grow over time

From expansion packs to microtransactions, downloadable content has been available for over a decade. The downloadable content:the story of the three most expensive letters in the game. The downloadable content of the three most expensive letters in the history of the game is a fundamental part of modern video games. But where did it come from and how has it affected the video game industry? Let's find out. Read More As a consequence, this makes it difficult to finish a game properly as new content could appear at any time.

An expansion for a game like Horizon Zero Dawn or Fallout 4 adds another twelve hours to play. If you enjoyed the game, you can sit back with him for more of the same.

The same applies to multiplayer games. Whether through traditional DLC packs (Call of Duty, Battlefield) or regular free updates (Fortnite, Overwatch), most multiplayer games add more content over time. Some new maps, weapons or playable characters could do the trick to get you back into a game and addicted to it.

The food to go: Games are not static. New content released for your favorite games makes it easier to come back to them every time, even when you thought you were done.

4. Video games evoke strong emotions.

We've focused a lot on multiplayer, but there are important factors at play for single player games as well. One is that games bring out our emotions, often in ways that other media simply can't. It's easier to enjoy something when you feel connected to it.

Consider a series of games like Persona, where you play as a high school student over the course of a year. As you spend time with your friends in the game, you can learn about their struggles, dreams, and interests. You will connect and want to learn more about their stories, even if they are not real. This is something that can be achieved in an 80-hour game (or a good book), but not in a two-hour movie.

However, this is not unique to long RPGs. Games like The Last of Us were hailed for the emotional connection between the characters that grows throughout the game. Titles where you have the freedom to make decisions can appeal to your emotions even more when they show you the consequences of your actions.

Top 20 Video Game Soundtracks for Studying or Relaxing Top 20 Video Game Soundtracks for Studying or Relaxing Video game music is designed to promote focus with pleasant background tracks. If you need some music to study or relax, look no further. Read More A heartbreaking piano piece during a sad moment, an epic sweeping score during a fugue, or an interesting beat that introduces a character all impact players.

The food to go: Games offer unique ways to create emotional connections with players. When you're emotionally invested in a game, it's easier to spend more time on it.

5. Some video games are designed to be addictive

The above are reasons why you can be addicted to any game. But unfortunately, a lot of games are created with the mindset of gamer addiction.

Mobile games are infamous for this. They are “free to play,” but not for long. After the game lures you in with easy levels (and frequent dopamine rushes) early on, they introduce limits on how long you can play, often with a limited number of lives. Skipping these “downtimes” means spending real money on in-app purchases Why you'll never stop seeing ads and IAPs in mobile apps Why you'll never stop seeing ads and IAPs in mobile apps Ads and in-app purchases on Mobile apps and games can be really annoying. Unfortunately, they won't be leaving anytime soon. This is why. Read more.

This is not limited to mobile games like Candy Crush and Clash Royale. Big-Budget Games Have Introduced “Freemium” Elements 6 Ways Modern Games Have Ruined The Fun (And How To Fix Them) 6 Ways Modern Games Have Ruined The Fun (And How To Fix Them) Modern games have many advantages, but some of the current trends worry us. Here are six ways games today have lost the magic of yesteryear, and how to deal with them. Read More Whereas once small transactions for a particular item, loot boxes similar to gambling have become the preferred method. The game is obviously addictive for a reason, and some of its worst elements are now commonplace in AAA games.

Take Call of Duty, for example. It has hundreds of custom player camos, outfits, and icons. You can earn them by getting lucky with loot boxes or by getting hundreds of in-game credits to get what you really want. Pero el juego siempre ofrece la posibilidad de gastar dinero real en cajas de botín, lo que ni siquiera garantiza que obtendrás el artículo que estás buscando..

Como se mencionó anteriormente, mientras más jugadores sigan jugando un juego mucho después del lanzamiento, mayor será la cantidad potencial de compradores de cajas de botín. Overwatch presenta algunos eventos estacionales durante el año con artículos especiales de tiempo limitado. Si no puede obtener lo que quiere a través del juego, puede pasar a gastar unos cuantos dólares en cajas..

La comida para llevar: Los juegos móviles, y los elementos significativos de los juegos de gran presupuesto, están diseñados para adictos a los jugadores. Ya sea a través de experiencias cuidadosamente elaboradas que lo mantienen drogado con recompensas o lo presionan para que gaste dinero y disfrute jugando en cajas de botín, quieren su tiempo y dinero..

6. Los videojuegos modernos son enormes y densos

La tecnología de hoy permite videojuegos en una escala que no podríamos haber imaginado hace 20 años. Desde juegos de mundo abierto con cientos de millas cuadradas para explorar hasta juegos de rol que pueden tardar cientos de horas en superar, hay una asombrosa cantidad de contenido en los juegos modernos..

La mayoría de los primeros videojuegos tenían un final fijo. Una vez que salvaste a la princesa en Super Mario Bros., habías visto casi todo lo que el juego tenía para ofrecer. Algunos juegos tuvieron una “modo difícil” con algunas variaciones, pero era simplemente un bucle de lo que ya habías experimentado.

Hoy en día, series como Fallout, Just Cause, Far Cry, y Grand Theft Auto tienen mapas densos con toneladas de misiones que realizar. Juegos como Civilization, FTL y Spelunky tienen un valor de repetición casi infinito gracias a sus escenarios aleatorios cada vez que juegas. Y ya hemos hablado de juegos multijugador masivos como League of Legends, Fornite y Overwatch que reciben actualizaciones regulares y tienen millones de jugadores activos..

Es más fácil volverse adicto a los juegos cuando hay una cantidad aparentemente infinita de contenido para disfrutar. Los juegos de Super Nintendo y Nintendo 64 eras no ofrecieron experiencias tan vastas, lo que disminuyó su potencial de adicción a los jugadores..

La comida para llevar: Los mega juegos de hoy tienen más posibilidades de ser adictos debido a su gran contenido. Los jugadores que quieren experimentar todo lo que un juego tiene para ofrecer están en un largo camino.

Adicción a los videojuegos y tu

Como cualquier otra cosa, los juegos pueden convertirse en un problema para algunos. Sin embargo, eso no significa que sean intrínsecamente malos. El hecho de que los juegos tengan el potencial de ser adictos a algunas personas no significa que todos los que los juegan tengan un problema. Pero es sabio saber qué puede hacer que los juegos sean tan adictivos y deténgase si se ve a sí mismo yendo demasiado lejos..

Si cree que es adicto a los juegos u otra tecnología, nuestra guía para superar su adicción a la tecnología Cómo reconocer y superar su adicción a la tecnología Cómo reconocer y superar su adicción a la tecnología Superar la adicción a la tecnología no significa terminar con el uso de esa tecnología. solo significa usar la tecnología para mejorar la calidad de vida. Esta guía le muestra cómo administrar sus antojos en línea. Leer más debería ser capaz de ayudar.